Where to stay in Ubud, the center of tranquility and spirituality
Ubud is an incredibly fascinating, welcoming city. As the cultural center of Bali, it offers plenty of interesting things to see and do. There are dozens of museums, galleries, and temples for culture buffs, as well as bars and markets for those who want to mingle. Ubud is a fantastic place to unwind and get back in touch with nature. Its culture is all about health, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and relaxation so your visit to Ubud may help you improve your health and kiss stress goodbye. In Ubud, you will forget about the western fast-paced lifestyle and embrace the eastern tranquility.
Photo credit: swiftsight
How to get around in Ubud
An important thing any Ubud visitor needs to know is that the city has no public transport system. If you decide to stay close to the city center, you won’t have trouble reaching any popular destination on foot. If you stay on the outskirts or move to Ubud, we recommend renting a scooter or a car.
Photo credit: gustirasnayasa
5 best areas to stay in Ubud
Ubud is not an enormous city but as some of its neighborhoods are far away from the center, it is important to pick a good area to stay in. In the past, each of these neighborhoods used to be a separate village, so each has a distinct culture and vibe. We have made a quick rundown of its best neighborhoods and decided that these places are clear winners:
- Central Ubud
- Padang Tegal
Our picks were based on the following criteria:
- Fun things to see and do
- Historical and cultural value
- How close it is to the center
- The overall atmosphere of the area
- Cost of staying
Where to stay in Ubud
|Best for the first visit||Central Ubud||A hot spot for tourists filled with bars, sights, and markets|
|Best for a bohemian experience||Penestanan||Artistic center of the city with authentic Bali culture|
|Best on a budget||Pengosekan||An artsy, spiritual neighborhood with affordable accommodation|
|Best for nightlife||Padang Tegal||A lively district with major bars and lounges|
|Best for a long-term stay||Peliatan||Peaceful neighborhood with plenty of shops and markets|
Photo credit: asadamoka
Where to stay in Ubud for the first time—Central Ubud
If you’re getting to know Ubud for the first time, we recommend staying in Central Ubud. Although it is the main tourist area in the city, it is incredibly safe and peaceful. There are plenty of things to see and do in this neighborhood. If you’re into history, you will enjoy sightseeing in Central Ubud as there are many temples and historical sights. If you want to get a taste of the local culture, you can hit the market or attend dancing ceremonies.
Photo credit: lucamanoni
What to do and see in Central Ubud
Since Central Ubud has a lot to offer, it all comes down to your own preferences. Here are some places you shouldn’t miss:
- Puri Saren Palace
- Puri Saraswati
- Ubud market
Puri Saren Palace
Puri Saren Palace was home to Bali royalty, which makes it one of the most popular and beloved tourist destinations on the island. You can explore the front part of the palace that is open to the public, roam around its charming gardens, or enjoy evening dance performances.
Photo credit: carcalabri
Where to stay in Central Ubud
With an average price of $60 per night, Central Ubud is not as cheap as some other neighborhoods. Since it is close to all major sights and you can get anywhere on foot, staying in this area will save you some taxi money, so we think it’s worth it. Here are our top picks:
Budget option: this affordable room in a cute guesthouse.
Midrange option: this comfy room in an amazing guesthouse.
High-end option: this elegant and luxurious villa.
Find more AirBnB options here.
Where to stay in Ubud for a bohemian experience—Penestanan
Penestanan is a fantastic place for those who like to experience authentic Bali culture and traditions. The neighborhood is known for its rich spiritual tradition. It is also the artistic center of the city as many famous artists lived here, including Antonio Blanco and Arie Suit. Penestanan is a diverse area and a favorite among the LGBT community members.
Photo credit: lisaray
Where to go in Penestanan
Penestanan is filled with interesting sights, restaurants, and bars to visit, including:
- Blanco Museum
- Round Bar
- Yellow Flower
Antonio Blanco is undoubtedly the most famous artist that lived in Bali. The museum is a fascinating blend of traditional Bali culture, Blanco’s native Manilla, and his home country Spain. If you’re a fan of oil on canvas paintings, this is a museum you shouldn’t miss.
Photo credit: ervienohalloow
Where to stay in Penestanan
Penestanan offers plenty of affordable places to stay, as well as some more luxurious options. Here are our top picks:
Budget option: This budget-friendly room.
Midrange option: this gorgeous villa
Luxurious option: this high-end villa.
Where to stay in Ubud on a budget—Pengosekan
Just like Penestanan, Pengosekan has an artsy, bohemian vibe. It combines eastern and western cultures and is known for its many yoga studios, temples, and affordable restaurants. The accommodation in this neighborhood is significantly cheaper than in other parts of the city which makes it popular with backpackers and students. It is also where the major healers are located. Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love will be glad to hear that this neighborhood was home to Ketut Liyer, one of the novel protagonists.
Photo credit: adienfazmail
What to do in Pengosekan
Although Pengosekan is not as lively as some other neighborhoods, there are plenty of places worth visiting. Here are some suggestions:
- The ARMA Museum
- Yoga Barn
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
The ARMA Museum is a must-visit place for any art lover out there. The museum celebrates the Bali culture and arts and showcases some wonderful artifacts. You will see the traditional Kamasan collection of tree bark paintings. There are also paintings by major Bali artists, as well as by foreign artists who lived in Ubud, such as Rudolph Bonnet and Willem Gerard Hofker.
Photo credit: arma.bali
Where to stay in Pengosekan
Pengosekan is not as full of AirBnBs as the very center but all it has to offer is super affordable. Here are our picks:
Budget option: this affordable but cute bungalow room.
Midrange option: this room in a rice field guesthouse.
Luxurious option: this amazing suite room.
Where to stay in Ubud for nightlife—Padang Tegal
Ubud is not the best place for party animals. The locals like to rise early and go to bed by 10 pm. Still, there are a few places where tourists can go out at night and have fun, most of which are located in Padang Tegal’s Monkey Forest Road. Padang Tegal is an incredibly interesting area and you can enjoy various live gigs, shisha bars, and evening shows.
Photo credit: akinaliyue
Where to go in Padang Tegal
Whether you’re looking for a place to sip cocktails or enjoy the natural wonders, Padang Tegal will give it to you. Here are some places we highly recommend:
- Laughing Buddha Bar
- CP Lounge
- XL Shisha Lounge
- Sacred Monkey Forest
Laughing Buddha Bar
Probably Ubud’s most famous bar, Laughing Buddha Bar is the best place to go out in the evenings. The bar usually hosts fantastic live bands that play everything from rock, jazz, and blues to global top-charts hits. There are also special events and theme parties, including salsa nights.
Photo credit: belindagrixti
Where to stay in Padang Tegal
SInce Padang Tegal is where all the action takes place, the accommodation isn’t very cheap and the average price is $70 per night. Still, there are several nice but more affordable places. Here are our top picks:
Budget option: a room in this incredibly affordable villa.
Midrange option: a room in this stunning villa.
Luxurious option: this room in a Monkey Forest villa.
You don’t see anything you like? Browse for more options here.